The House of the Dead

Bomb Rating: 

There must be somebody on the planet who can make a good horror movie and not automatically assume in the process that the horror genre gives them a license to do crappy work.

Let's just put it this way: The person highest above-the-line in this film is none other than Clint Howard. Clint Howard! Ron's little brother. Balok from the original "Star Trek"! THE WORST ACTOR ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH! I suggest that scientists do an experiment and get Clint Howard and Theresa Russell to copulate. The resulting offspring would certainly begin the Apocalypse. Every time Clint said a line in this film I had to turn away as though somebody had let off a particularly rancid fart.

Clint plays Salish, a worker on a small boat captained by Kirk (Jurgen Prochnow). And yes, if you haven't already connected the dots there, that's Captain Kirk. I would like to say that this little joke became unfunny the tenth or eleventh time I heard it, but frankly, it was painful the first time I heard it. Like the film, you just hope it goes away.

There's a rave on an island that turns out to be inhabited by the undead. A bunch of kids go there to party and end up fighting off the zombie inhabitants. None of the teenage stars is anybody I've ever heard of before. Sheriff Casper (Ellie Cornell) isn't that young, but she shows up and you'd swear by her voice that she just started puberty. Maybe she was ill that day. ISN'T THIS WHAT LOOPING IS FOR!!??

Naturally, since the island is inhabited by hundreds upon hundreds of flesh eating mutants, the teenagers walk through the woods looking for each other yelling at the top of their lungs, "Rudy? Are you there? Where are you?" This is a movie that has lines like the following: "We got to the boat but it wasn't there." and "This book, it's pretty old. Maybe it'll help us."

After the kids start fighting the zombies in earnest, the most amazing thing happens: The Asian girl suddenly develops martial arts skills and the hot, large-breasted girl discovers that she's an expert sword-fighter who can hold her own with an undead medieval baddie. Are we ever privy to these skills prior to their unveiling? Of course not.

Then again, this is a film based on some video game I've never heard of. I'm not sure any of it is supposed to make sense. The title was really more representative of the theater after the lights came up. Now there were some real zombies.

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